“Now and then, it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and, just be happy”
Doctors will confirm that a significant number of patients in hospitals are suffering from conditions and disorders that are not infection-related; they are suffering from conditions that are not caused by germs or bugs such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi; but the conditions they are suffering from are directly related to their perceptions and thoughts. Results of medical and laboratory tests carried out on these patients indicate that they are not sick and yet they are suffering from “physical symptoms” that include insomnia (lack of sleep), anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, anger, frustration, impatience, emotional trauma, physical trauma, allergies, digestive issues, back pain, distress, disability and constipation.
These “physical symptoms” are caused by mental, emotional or psychological factors and they are called psychosomatic disorders. Psychosomatic means mind (psyche) and body (soma). A psychosomatic disorder is a disease which involves both mind and body. It is a disease whereby the mind causes a person to suffer physical symptoms or medical conditions which cannot be explained by medical tests or physical examination.
It is normal when we are afraid or anxious to develop a fast heart rate, to have a ‘thumping’ heart (palpitations), to feel sick (nauseated), to shake (tremor), to sweat, to have a dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, and to breathe fast. But some physical diseases, such as psoriasis, eczema, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and heart disease, can be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety.
Stress is experienced when the demands made on us outweigh our resources. A moderate level of stress is an important motivating factor and is considered normal and necessary. However, if stress is intense, continuous, and repeated, it becomes a negative phenomenon which can lead to physical illness and psychological disorders.
The many physical, emotional and spiritual issues that need our attention daily can cause stress levels to rise to unmanageable levels leading to discontentment and stress-related illnesses. The discontentment then leads to negative effects that include humiliation and degradation for those people who are not satisfied with what God has decreed for them; and also a craving and greed whose end result is permanent anxiety.
Psychosomatic disorders can, however, be managed effectively by dealing with the causes of stress and anxiety, the biggest among them being discontentment.
Seeking and restoring contentment with the resources bestowed on us by God, including our finances, our intelligence, our wisdom, our knowledge, our education, our careers, and our children, will have the immediate benefit of removing anxiety, obtaining peace, restoring lost hope, and treating most psychosomatic disorders.
Contentment is a state of being happy, satisfied, appreciative and tolerant with one’s possessions, status, or situation; even as we keep on dreaming and pursuing our life goals. Contentment brings with it the feeling of accomplishment, happiness and enjoyment.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul and Timothy tell us to, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, to let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.”
This verse confirms that God is the owner of all that we possess. He has put them in our charge for Him. We are just stewards of His possessions.
Stewards are never poor or rich because they know that the owner can come for His belongings at any time. Stewards know that they are managing someone else’s account, and are therefore not intimidated by people with more resources than them. Stewards are not bothered, desperate or frustrated whether they have more or less than others because what they possess does not belong to them. Good stewards know better than to put their trust on man, because they know that man will always disappoint.
Good stewards know that God promised in Matthew 25:21 that all He wants from them is to be “good and faithful servants”: and that when they are “faithful with a few things, He will put them in charge of many things.” They know that their “God will meet all their needs according to the riches of His glory” as promised in Philippians 4:19.
The contentment that arises out of the understanding that we are stewards of God’s possessions helps us to cope with our stress, our anxiety, our pain, our hatred, our anger, our greed, our envy, our fear, our jealousy, our depression, our low morale, our frustrations, our depression, our pride, our superiority complexes, and our inferiority complexes. Contentment bestows on us peace, satisfaction, tolerance, humility, hope, confidence, honor and dignity; and, in addition, it becomes an immortal or endless treasure; a property that never ends. There is no treasure more sufficient than contentment. A contented person is a rich person, as opposed to being a wealthy person.
Contented people accept themselves the way they are; they identify things that they can change and, prayerfully, change them for the better. They identify the things they cannot change and, prayerfully, seek contentment and serenity.
When we put everything into perspective, we realize that the best life is a life spent being happy, as opposed to being satisfied with what we have. Being content with what we possess will make our life to become an incredible journey of awakening, healing and freedom. It will improve our physical and emotional health, our relationships, our happiness, our focus, our drive, our finances, and more.
Philippians 4:11 says, “I have learnt to be contented whatever the circumstances.” So let us stop breaking down, feeling sorry for ourselves, or blaming others whatever our current situation might be; whether it is increased demands at the work place, strained relationships, inadequate resources, or increased personal-life demands.
Let us strive to be contented, and happy, with what we have. God has put whatever little, or much, at our disposal and is closely monitoring to see how faithful we are with what is His, including our life and our health. And just like Pharrell Williams sings in “Happy”, we will surely learn to clap along because we will be witnesses of what happiness is to us.